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Williams v. Hulick

November 15, 2010

EUGENE WILLIAMS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DONALD HULICK, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Murphy, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, an inmate at the Stateville Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff seeks injunctive and monetaryrelief for alleged violations of his Eighth Amendment rights. This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which provides:

(a) Screening.-- The court shall review, before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.

(b) Grounds for Dismissal.-- On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint--

(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or

(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

An action or claim is frivolous if "it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). An action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 590 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A complaint is plausible on its face "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). Although the Court is obligated to accept factual allegations as true, some factual allegations may be so sketchy or implausible that they fail to provide sufficient notice of a plaintiff's claim. Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 581 (7th Cir. 2009). Additionally, Courts "should not accept as adequate abstract recitations of the elements of a cause of action or conclusory legal statements." Id. At the same time, however, the factual allegations of a pro se complaint are to be liberally construed. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Service, 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

THE COMPLAINT

Plaintiff alleges that on April 16, 2008, while confined at the Menard Correctional Center, he and another inmate, Michael Johnson, were handcuffed and taken to the shower area. Plaintiff contends that inmate Johnson was not searched by Defendant John Doe before Johnson was handcuffed.

Plaintiff states that prior to Defendant Hulick's arrival at Menard, prisoners had their handcuffs removed before being placed in a locked area with another inmate. Plaintiff alleges that after Defendant Hulick arrived at Menard, Hulick changed the procedure so that prisoners had their handcuffs removed, one-by-one only after being placed in a locked area with another inmate. According to the complaint, once Plaintiff and inmate Johnson were locked in the shower area by Defendant Wagner, inmate Johnson's handcuffs were released first and Johnson commenced stabbing Plaintiff with a weapon. Plaintiff states that Wagner and John Doe looked on and did not intervene until the attack had abated. Plaintiff states that he was examined by Defendant Jane Doe, but she failed to have a doctor examine his wounds and only provided him with ointment and gauze. Plaintiff states that he still suffers pain from his stab wounds due to the improper treatment.

Based on the allegations of the complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide Plaintiff's pro se action into four counts. The parties and the Court will use these designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The designation of these claims does not constitute an opinion as to their merit.

COUNT 1: Against Defendants Hulick, Wagner, and John Doe by being deliberately indifferent to a risk of attack by promulgating and utilizing the new handcuff procedures, in violation of Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights.

COUNT 2: Against Defendant John Doe for being deliberately indifferent to a risk of attack by inmate Johnson by failing to search Johnson for weapons, in ...


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